The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has constituted a special national convention planning committee ahead of its presidential primary election on May 28 and 29.
The three-member panel will be headed by former Senate President, David Mark, with Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the deputy chairman and former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, as the secretary.
The convention scheduled to hold in Abuja, will have delegates of the party elect its presidential candidate.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunnagba, made this known after the PPD National Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday.
Mr Mark chaired the committee that screened the 17 presidential aspirants the main opposition party recently.
In a communique read out to journalists, Mr Ologunagba said the NEC has assured of free, fair, credible and transparent processes for the emergence of the party’s candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
The party had decided to jettison zoning and throw open the presidential ticket for the aspirants.
Newsmen reported that the party’s decision was in alignment with the recommendation of Governor Samuel Ortom-led zoning committee.
“After a very extensive deliberation, NEC aligned with the recommendation of the PDP National Zoning Committee that the presidential election should now be left open. The party should also work towards consensus candidates where possible.
“NEC noted the recommendation of the zoning committee that in the interest of justice and fair play, the party should take the decision on zoning timeously, so as to prevent complications to the process.”
The party’s decision to throw open the presidential ticket comes amid clamour for a president from the South. Many aggrieved members of the party, particularly the Southern leaders have since asked the party to zone the ticket to the region – in the spirit of fair play.
While northern leaders in the party have said an open contest will allow aspirants test their strength in the party.
So far, none of the Southern presidential aspirants have reacted to the party’s decision.